Posts in verynice futures
A Recap from The Crowd Consortium, Facilitated by verynice:

At verynice, we have successfully used the power of crowdsourcing to build audiences, facilitate growth, and launch products for our clients. We have also used it to facilitate conversations and action surrounding community and social change. Needless to say, we’re already convinced on how effective and influential it can be. 

That’s why we didn’t hesitate to say, “yes,” when verynice was asked to facilitate the Crowd Consortium, which culminated a series of regional meetings and webinars that took place throughout 2014-2015 and aimed to advance cross-disciplinary conversations about crowdsourcing. 

At this two and a half day event, our Global Foresight Lead, Jake, and Founder, Matt, lead a series of workshops in Maryland for 60 leaders across academia, research, private sector companies, funding agencies, GLAM institutions, and graduate programs. Workshops from the first day focused on broader perspectives within crowdsourcing, such as its greater implications, emerging trends, and barriers to progress. On Day 2, the workshop drilled down into design and implementation strategies. Participants outlined the problems we’re trying to solve in order to conceptualize and design new products/services that have the potential to push us past current obstacles.  

Bringing together participants from so many different fields, of course, enabled us to approach problems and questions with a variety of perspectives at hand— although there were commonalities we didn’t expect. For example, introducing design-thinking methodologies into the context of digital humanities seemed to push participants from most fields out of their comfort zone, which helped prompt some exciting outcomes. One positive outcome we did expect was that participants expressed a desire to continue collaborating with this group even after the conclusion of the consortium. We attribute this to the collaborative, learn-through-making format that defined our workshops. 

While verynice has always been peripherally involved in the crowdsourcing community, seeing it discussed outside of the design industry, within the humanities, was a new experience for us— one that turned out to be very eye opening, and that we are excited to continue contributing to.

The verynice team looks forward to finding new and interesting ways to incorporate crowdsourcing into our work. See more about what we do here.

Learning in the Future: Spaces of Possibility

When I take my kids to a restaurant, their tablemats often have some counting lessons or logic puzzles. The apps and games they play teach reading, math, scientific investigation, design, and more. When they watch cartoons, they are usually absorbing embedded lessons about nature, social interactions, or problem solving. There are few kids’ shows with coyotes chasing roadrunners around the desert these days. Kids are learning at school, at home, on the road, on hikes, at the beach, and in front of screens. Of course, kids have always learned “something” as they play and consume media, but these days the intentional informal learning opportunities are abundant and unavoidable.

The idea of a “learning space” is being transformed, no longer confined to enclosures within official educational institutions. In this short scenario report, our verynice futures team lays out a series of alternative futures for learning and learning spaces. We’ve drawn upon our own personal and professional experience exploring innovative (and not so innovative) educational institutions around the world. We’ve mapped out some major trends in learning technology, educational processes and priorities, and new social behaviors that will open new domains for how, when, where, and why learning takes place. The scenarios we’ve created show just how different the future might be for learners of all stripes, and the values and dynamics driving each of these possible worlds.

How might education and learning change when unleashed from many current cultural, technological, and bureaucratic constraints? How might these new systems serve learners more effectively? On the other hand, how might they fail or exploit learners in both known and novel ways?

Use this scenario report to explore new horizons, challenge your assumptions, and to facilitate a conversation about what values, practices, and outcomes you’d prefer to see for the future of learning. And let us know how we can help you think about futures more creatively and act on these insights more effectively. 

Click here to see The Learning Spaces Report by our verynice futures team and explore new ways to think about the future of learning.